Falcons Sign ‘Speedster’ XFL WR: Report

Jeff Badet

Getty Jeff Badet #13 of the Dallas Renegades gets passed Darius Hillary #41 of the St. Louis Blackhawks.

The Atlanta Falcons are not done bolstering their wide receiver depth following the departure of Julio Jones. On Thursday, the team signed former XFL standout, Jeff Badet.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero announced that the signing was coming on Wednesday afternoon right after Badet worked out in front of the team. Pelissero referred to the 26-year-old as a “speedster” who clocked a 4.27 40-yard dash at Oklahoma’s 2018 Pro Day.

Badet has an intriguing background after bouncing in and out of the NFL.

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Badet Went Undrafted in 2018

Badet split his collegiate career playing for the University of Kentucky and Oklahoma as both a wide receiver and kick returner.

He declared for the 2018 NFL Draft where he went undrafted but later signed as a UDFA with the Minnesota Vikings. Before being placed on the team’s practice squad, he played in all four of Minnesota’s preseason games and had 5 receptions for 34 yards.

Badet didn’t give up after not making the Vikings’ 53-man roster. He turned to the XFL in 2020 where he impressed former Sooners coach, Bob Stoops. Stoops ended up drafting Badet 4th overall to the Dallas Renegades.

In a short time, Badet became a face of the XFL and caught 16 passes for 108 yards in five games before COVID-19 forced the league to fold. His contract was terminated and he spent the rest of 2020 with the Washington Football Team, mainly on the practice squad before he was waived this past May.

Badet will join a currently crowded backfield to fight for a spot on the Falcons’ final roster. While the position is crowded, it’s still wide open as Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage are the only players guaranteed a spot on the depth chart next season. However, Badet’s special teams experience could give him an upper hand.


Falcons WR Outlook This Offseason

Ridley, Atlanta’s old, but new No. 1 wideout underwent minor foot surgery this offseason and missed OTAs. He expects to be ready to go for Falcons’ training camp, which kicks off at the end of July.

With Ridley’s absence, other top wideouts such as Olamide Zaccheaus, Christian Blake, Tajae Sharpe, and rookie Frank Darby will be seeing more snaps in practice. Badet the speedster should also have a shot at more target reps with Ridley sidelined.

The Falcons officially inked Darby and four other 2021 draft members on Tuesday. Darby was a sixth-round pick (187th overall) and stands at six-foot-one, 200 pounds. He saw action in 40 career games as an Arizona State Sun Devil where he reeled in 67 receptions for 1,317 yards and 13 touchdowns. His contract is for four seasons and worth $3.6 million, according to Spotrac.

Aside from the names listed above, the Falcons also have Cordarrelle Patterson, Antonio Nunn, Greg Dortch, Juwan Green, Chris Rowland, and Austin Trammell at the wideout position.

Patterson, another special teamer, should make the final cuts due to his versatility and ability to play running back.

We’ll know more once training camp begins.

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